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Boosting Swansea's trade links with China

Stronger trade links between Swansea and China are being explored as plans to boost the local economy take another step forward.

Wuhan visit

City leaders and businesses met with a visiting delegation from Wuhan on Tuesday September 20 to further build on discussions that took place last month.

Swansea now has a friendship agreement in place with Wuhan that will see both cities co-operating on areas including economy, trade, transport, logistics, culture, sport, health, medicine, education and tourism.

Among the visiting Chinese delegation this week was an Executive Vice Mayor with responsibility for social and economic development in Wuhan, the most populated city in central China.

The Tech Hub on King's Lane, Technium Swansea in SA1 and Guildhall were among the locations visited. The Chinese delegation was also given a tour of Penderyn Distillery, a company that could be expanding their business to Swansea on the historic Hafod Morfa Copperworks site in future.

Cllr David Hopkins, Lord Mayor of Swansea, said: "Swansea's links with Wuhan are already well-established because of Griffith John's missionary work there in the 19th century, but we hope recent discussions will lead to an even more positive relationship in future.

"The better our relationship is with Wuhan, then the greater the opportunity will be for Swansea businesses to develop trade links with the lucrative Chinese market.

"We also took the chance to try to sell Swansea to our Chinese visitors this week as a business-friendly, forward-thinking city. We hope this will encourage Chinese investment in Swansea in future because that would generate jobs, boost skills and further strengthen the local economy.

"It's also Wales in Wuhan week next month, so the visit will I'm sure help inform further discussions in October."

A dinner was also held at the Lord Mayor's Mansion House in Ffynone where Mal Pope entertained the Chinese delegation with a song about Griffith John, who established a number of schools, hospitals and colleges during his time in Wuhan. While in China, John also translated New Testament and part of the Old Testament into more than one Chinese dialect. 

John, who was born on Llangyfelach Street in Greenhill and worshipped at Ebenezer Chapel, first arrived in China in 1855. He eventually made his base in Hankow, about 400 miles west of Shanghai.

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